Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Jan 8, 2013


Small Business Owner Perspective: What Lies Ahead in 2013

For many of us, the New Year is filled with excitement and anticipation, but for the new neighborhood coffee shop opening downtown, or the Etsy artisan working on a fresh line of handmade jewelry, the New Year can also be a time of uncertainty.

So, what are small business owners thinking about now that we are in 2013? According to our latest Small Business Spend Insights*:

  • Small business owners have remained cautiously optimistic about the economy:
  • Business owners anticipate spending more on advertising, marketing and inventory supply:
  • The top three areas of concern for more than 50 percent of small business owners, include: Cost of health insurance, attracting new customers and rising taxes

For more Small Business Owner perspectives, view the full Small Business Spend Insights report  and visit the Visa Business Facebook page.

*survey conducted in October 2012


Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on January 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

Nov 19, 2012

#HolidaySuccess: Tips for Small Business Owners

A few weeks ago, we shared the Small Business Holiday Success Guide that we recently launched with USA Today small business columnist, Rhonda Abrams. As the holiday season is upon us, we are excited to bring you the first in a series of posts that will provide you with more in-depth strategies to help make this a successful holiday season for your small business. In this series, we will cover money management, holiday marketing techniques, tips for extending holiday success into the New Year, and more. – Janet Zablock @jzablock

6 Tips for Social Media Holiday Success

Social Media 411 chart

Whether it’s money management or marketing, every aspect of your business requires a plan. That includes social media marketing. Keep in mind the following six tips when developing your social media strategy:

  1. Remember, it’s better to give than to receive.Anything you tweet, post, pin, or blog should offer value. Just like you’ll tune out your know-it-all brother-in-law at Thanksgiving dinner, your followers will drop you if all you do is talk about your product or service and why they should buy it. Instead:
    • Write blogs showing how you meet customers’ holiday needs
    • Post links to articles and videos your followers will find useful or entertaining.
    • Discuss promotions and special items you’re offering just for the holidays.
    • Refresh your content often during the holidays to bring customers back.
  2. Write your content in advance. Before you’re knee deep in gift wrap, write as many of those blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts as you can, and merely publish them according to the calendar. Brainstorm the topics, themes, and promotions you’ll cover. Then create a calendar of what to post when (a spreadsheet is best, but a physical calendar also works).
  3. Regift. No, I don’t mean unload that itchy orange and purple sweater your mother gave you last year. I’m talking about repurposing your content. You’ve already taken the time to write your blogs and email newsletters. Now save time. Pull material out for tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn updates.
  4. Put some tasks on auto-pilot. During the holidays especially, you don’t have the resources to update and like posts on Facebook all day. Of course, you’ll still pay attention to the conversation. With tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Manageflitter, you can pre-load all that content you wrote in advance and schedule it to post later.
  5. Encourage engagement. Create surveys. Ask questions. Run a contest. Do what you can to encourage followers to engage. When they do engage, respond.
  6. Manage review sites. According to SearchEngineLand,76 percent of customers visit sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Zagat to find the best meal, store, hotel, and more. Make it easy for your customers to post positive reviews. The tool ReviewBiz allows you to embed an icon in your website that will take your customers directly to local review sites.

Visit to download the Small Business Holiday Success Guide and learn more!

–Rhonda Abrams (@RhondaAbrams), USA Today Small Business Columnist and Expert


Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Sep 4, 2012

The Tooth Fairy’s Generosity

This is a great time to be a kid with a loose tooth.

The Tooth Fairy has rebounded from her economic dole drums and she’s returned to her free spending ways. So says the data from our most recent survey of 2,000 Americans. The Tooth Fairy’s largess plummeted in 2011, falling to an average of $2.60 left per tooth. But the cusped collector has picked herself up, dusted herself off, and in 2012 is leaving $3.00 – a 15% increase.

And with every first lost tooth comes the parental dilemma of how much money to leave under the pillow. No one wants to be an outlier and leave their child too much or too little. There is also the concern about children comparing notes on the school playground and finding out that the Fairy has been leaving different amounts.

To help answer this perennial question, we’ve developed the free Tooth Fairy Calculator which you can download as an app from iTunes or use on Facebook. The calculator recommends an appropriate amount to leave for each tooth based on what other families are leaving in comparable households.

While the topic of the Tooth Fairy is intentionally light-hearted, it looms incredibly large for a child with a wiggly tooth – especially if it’s your child. So harness the passion and fascination your child has with the Tooth Fairy and the cash she leaves behind and turn it into a conversation starter about money management.

Ask them how they plan to spend it and encourage them to save a portion. Help them understand the rudimentary concepts of budgeting and explain that’s what you do with your money. It’s a life lesson that will last longer than those baby teeth.


Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on September 4, 2012 at 6:39 am

Jul 27, 2012

Visa’s Go World Campaign: 28 Million Cheers…and Counting!


With the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games just hours away, the world is ready to celebrate and cheer for their favorite athletes and teams. At Visa, we’ve been encouraging fans to cheer for Team Visa athletes for the past several months leading up to London 2012. To date, more than 28 million fans have submitted digital cheers as part of Visa’s Go World campaign, our largest global and most social marketing campaign in Visa’s history.

Go World encourages consumers to cheer via Facebook, Youku and Sina-Weibo in China, VKontakte in Russia, YouTube and Twitter (US), to inspire Team Visa athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since the campaign launched in May, fans have cheered in the form of liking the Visa Facebook page, submitting photos, videos and text cheers and performing one-click cheers through Visa’s Cheer application on Facebook, viewing and sharing video content on YouTube, as well as including the campaign’s hashtag (#VisaGoWorld) on Twitter (@TeamVisa) and cheering through partner websites.

Some highlights of the campaign:

• 1.9 million fan “Likes” on Visa’s Facebook page
• 400,000 cheers for 69 Team Visa athletes in the form of a one-click cheers and text, photo or video submissions

• 25.7 million views of Visa’s Go World commercials, behind-the-scenes athlete content and consumer-generated cheer videos
• Globally, the most viewed Go World commercials include:
1. “The Difference”* (8.5 million views)
2. “Double Beach Volleyball” (3.4 million views) featuring Brazilian Team Visa athletes Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti
3. “A Very High Dive”* (3.2 million views) featuring Team Visa athletes David Boudia (US; diving) and Hugo Parisi (Brazil; diving)
4. “100th of a Second” (1.9 million views) featuring US Team Visa athlete Michael Phelps (swimming)
5. “Perfect 10” (1.1 million views) featuring Olympic legend Nadia Comaneci
6. “Yelena” (1.3 million views) featuring Russian Team Visa athlete Yelena Isinbaeva (pole vault).

The five most cheered for Team Visa athletes around the world include:
1. Li Na (tennis, China)
2. Yelena Isinbaeva (pole vault, Russia)
3. Michael Phelps (swimming, USA)
4. Lopez Lomong (track & field, USA)
5. Azizul Awang (track cyclist, Malaysia)

Within the United States, the five most cheered for Team Visa athletes include:
1. Michael Phelps (swimming)
2. Lopez Lomong (track & field)
3. Nastia Liukin (gymnastics)
4. David Boudia (diving)
5. Alana Nichols (wheelchair basketball)


Posted by: Kevin Burke, CMO of Core Products on July 27, 2012 at 11:53 am

Jul 16, 2012

The Pressure of the Pitch

The concept of the elevator pitch is a familiar one in current business and pop culture. From ABC’s Shark Tank, to CBC’s Dragon’s Den, and HBO’s Mad Men, the idea of presenting a business idea to financers for a chance at the business big-time is something that many dream of, but few get a chance to actually do. 

Today, Visa Canada is giving eight talented Canadians the chance to do just that – pitch their small business idea in a sixty second elevator ride in the heart of Canada’s financial district. The hustle of the downtown core mixed with the pressure to sell an idea during a one-minute elevator ride is a recipe for excitement that we can’t wait to be part of!

The winner – to be announced within minutes of the live pitches – will receive a $10,000 credit on their Visa Business Card, which he or she can put towards helping their business succeed and grow. A Visa Business Card, available to entrepreneurs around the world, is an efficient way for small business owners to manage cash flow and track expenses.

The finalists were selected from entrants across Canada who submitted videos through the site – the finalists submissions are still up to watch and enjoy.

Three small business experts will be judging the final event:

•             Matthew Corrin, the founder and CEO of Freshii

•             Doug Burgoyne, the co-founder and president of FROGBOX Inc.

•             Stephane Paquet, the Editor and Chief and Assistant Publisher at Les Affaires

We wish all the finalists the best of luck today. Get ready, because the elevator doors are closing and you have sixty seconds…Go! (With Visa, of course!)


Posted by: Melissa Cassar, Visa Corporate Relations, Canada on July 16, 2012 at 8:15 am

May 7, 2012

“Cheer” on Team Visa Athletes at the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games

The Olympic Games begin and end with the athletes – a fact that we at Visa have emphasized and celebrated during our 25-year partnership with the Games. As the exclusive payment services sponsor and the only card accepted at the Olympic Games, we believe that athletes power the Olympic Games, and that fans inspire them to greatness.

Today we are excited to unveil Go World, Visa’s Olympic Games-themed integrated marketing campaign for the London 2012 Olympic Games. It is Visa’s most global campaign ever and will be executed in more than 70 countries around the world.

The Go World campaign has always been about the athletes and their incredible stories that inspire the world. It’s a feeling that encapsulates the Olympic spirit – a movement that happens every two years, when for 17 days, the world watches and hopes as one.


This year, with Visa, the world will cheer as one. We are bringing the fans closer to the Olympics than ever before, igniting a cheer that can be heard across the globe. Just as much as we celebrate the athletes who compete in the Games, we want to celebrate the connection that fans have to the moments that define the Olympics Games, inspiring the athletes to do their best with support and cheers harnessed from around the globe.

 The campaign is  social at its core, using Facebook, YouTube  other online content to seamlessly bring fans and athletes from across the world together. In Beijing and Vancouver, it was Visa cheering on the athletes, but this year, we are inviting the entire world to join in the global cheer, and the rallying cry of Go World, harnessing the Olympic spirit from every corner of the globe.

 To bring our campaign to life, we created a new commercial called “The Difference,” which you can watch here. This spot celebrates some of closest and most dramatic finishes in Olympic Games history and reminds viewers that cheering together can propel athletes to greatness.

Visa’s Facebook page is the central hub of the Go World campaign, enabling fans to create, share and view cheers for Team Visa athletes preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Using Visa’s cheer application, fans will be provided with relevant athlete content based on their likes and preferences, offering a personalized user experience. Fans can also voice their support on Twitter by tweeting their cheers using #VisaGoWorld. We hope that Visa will also enable fans to add “cheering” to a growing list of popular social actions that includes “pinning” and “liking.” For the first-time, Visa will reward fans in the U.S. for participating in the campaign by offering them the chance to have their cheers featured in a special-edition Visa commercials celebrating the achievements of Team Visa athletes during the Olympic Games. And, from May 1 – August 31, 2012, Visa cardholders in the U.S. and Canada will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip to cheer in-person at the summer sporting events of the Olympic Games for the rest of their lives when they use their Visa card. Official rules, including details on non-purchase entries, are available here.

You can learn more about Visa’s Go World campaign here.

 With less than 90 days to go to London 2012, we encourage you to join our global cheer movement and inspire the more than 60 Team Visa athletes from around the world who are pursuing their lifelong dreams of competing and medaling at the Games.

 Every cheer counts!

 Antonio Lucio

Global Chief Marketing, Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, Visa Inc.


Posted by: Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer on May 7, 2012 at 6:01 am

Jun 15, 2010

FIFA Fans Unite Online

A recent story by’s Etan Horowitz examines the global boom of interactivity expected around the FIFA World Cup™, noting that many expect the global sporting event to drive record social media traffic. After witnessing the levels of engagement on social media channels around the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, we agree wholeheartedly.


Posted by: Andrew Woodward, Visa Coporate Relations on June 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm